Day At The Track


10:24 PM 09 Sep 2007 NZST
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Always A Virgin
Always A Virgin - 2007 Cane Pace Final Trophy Presentation
World Wide Racing Photos

Have you ever wondered how Little Brown Jug early favourite Always A Virgin got his name? Many of us guessed the name came from the popular movie and television program.

However, I wanted to know for sure so I decided to ask the colt’s breeder and co-owner, Roll The Dice Stable’s Joe Hurley, an attorney from Wilmington, DE.

“His dam is Neverhaveneverwill, so it seemed appropriate to name her colt Always A Virgin. “

Hurley decided early not to sell Always A Virgin at auction. As a two-year-old, the Western Ideal colt won three of 10 starts and earned $67,229.

“We babied him all the way. I didn’t want him on the lead, so we just closed with him in the stretch in all of his races,” said Hurley. In November of 2006, Always A Virgin transferred into the Joe Holloway Stable at Showplace Farms in Englishtown, NJ.

“I also needed some partners so I sold shares in him to Bluewood Stable and Val D’or Farm,” said Hurley.

Mitchel Skolnick, one of the Bluewood partners, had five trotting colts in the Holloway Stable, and had watched Always A Virgin train at least a dozen times from January to April.

“I had owned trotters for about 10 years and maybe three pacers. But, he looked good, but I had no idea he would be this good. I thought he might develop into a decent sires stake colt and the price was right. My friend Bob Boni and I put together the Bluewood Stable and we purchased a share of Always A Virgin.”

Always A Virgin wasn’t all that impressive in his early qualifying races.

“My partners weren’t too thrilled with me,” said Skolnick. But, then, Always A Virgin finished second twice and third once in New Jersey Sires Stakes action. “Since then he has improved every start. He is so maneuverable, so relaxed and has a beautiful gait.”

Always A Virgin has won seven times in his last eight starts including the Battle of Brandywine, Holmes and an elimination of the Meadowlands Pace. However, in the Meadowlands Pace Final, he made a break and finished 10th.

After the Meadowlands Pace Final on July 14 Holloway decided to train the colt at Freehold Raceway’s half-mile track. The spirits of both Skolnick and Hurley skyrocketed following their colt’s training session.

“Joe (Holloway) couldn’t contain himself. He said the world champion filly She’s A Great Lady was the best horse he had ever seen on a half-mile track. But now he says Always A Virgin is better.”

Following his week of training at Freehold, Always A Virgin won his elimination of the Cane Pace and captured the Cane Final over Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Always A Virgin has earned $579,072 coming into the Jug.

Neither Skolnick nor Hurley have ever had a colt race in the Little Brown Jug.

“I’m from a trotting family, but I would be so thankful, for myself and my partners, if we should win the Jug,” said Skolnick. The other partners in the Bluewood Stable are Lynn Jones, Eric Freeman, Frank Russo and Bob Boni.

Hurley said, “putting the money aside, winning the Little Brown Jug would be Numero Uno!” (Translated from Spanish this means No. 1.)

By Tom White, Publicity Director, The Little Brown Jug

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